Many corporate travelers, typically back on the move after Labor Day, are still hunkered down at home, uncertain when they'll start seeing clients again or if the embrace of videoconferencing will end the need to get on the road at all.
It's a chilling prospect for the hotel industry, which leans heavily on corporate travel to fill rooms at full rates. Still, some are banking on a big future for business travel.
CitizenM, a Dutch lodging brand backed by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, is moving ahead with plans to open its tech-forward boutique hotels across the United States. It's a bet that remote work will actually increase the need for employers to bring scattered staff together.
"The world is a different place now, but the demand generators we would have had pre-pandemic have only gotten bigger," citizenM Managing Director Ernest Lee said in an interview. "We don't believe there's a secular risk to our industry."